Thesis Title

Adolescent Health Care and Health Risk Screenings

Date of Graduation

Summer 2002

Degree

Master of Science in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope

Subject Categories

Nursing

Abstract

It is well documented that adolescents are at risk for participating in high-risk health concerns. Few studies have examined health risk factors that are screened for by health care providers. The objective of this study was: to identify the high-risk health factors that were being screened for, what high-risk health concerns adolescents were participating in, if adolescents were receiving educational materials or counseling regarding high-risk behaviors, and if adolescents were satisfied with their health care. A cross-sectional survey of students (grades 9-12) in a midwestern high school was utilized using a self-report questionnaire. The questionnaire was researcher developed, and a pilot study was conducted. A quantitative analysis provided descriptive data regarding adolescent health. There were a total of 144 usable questionnaires with a response rate of 15%. The top three health concerns that subjects reported being screened for at their last health care visit included exercise 47.9%, immunizations 42.4%, and cigarette smoking 41.7%. A surprisingly low number were screened for secondhand smoke 17.4%, access to health care 15.3%, and violence 7.6%. Subjects reported discussing exercise 43.1%, nutrition 33.3%, and immunications 29.2% with their health care provider at their last health care visit. Educational materials were received for illegal drug use 18.8%, nutrition 18.1%, and tobacco use 17.4%. A high number of subjects reported feeling depressed (54%), being sexually active (31%), smoking cigarettes (29.2%), occasional access to health care (19%), illegal drug use (18%), and frequent feelings of violence (8%). The majority of the subjects felt that their health care provider addressed their health (84%) and were satisfied with their health care (85%). The top three suggestions to improve adolescent health care included spending more time with patients, being more personal, and explaining more. Results of this study identify the ten leading health indicators identified in Healthy People 2010 as a fast and convenient way to screen and educate adolescent patients about high-risk health concerns. This includes identifying risk factors and predicting whether or not an adolescent will develop a health risk associated with morbidity and mortality.

Copyright

© Angie Kaye Powers

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